The Dallas Mavericks couldn’t complete a furious second-half comeback tonight, falling 125-112 to a very good Boston Celtics squad. The talent gap between these two teams was painfully apparent, as the Celtics grabbed a double-digit lead in the first quarter and built it to as many as 27. This was the kind of lopsided game that these Mavericks were probably due for, and these four numbers illustrate just how unpleasant it was.
40: Luka Doncic’s minutes played
Doncic played basically the entire second half and put up 42 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists as he tried to single-handedly drag the Mavericks back from a huge deficit. It’s a shame the lead never got below nine points, because this feels like a wasted effort in a year where Doncic’s usage has been completely unsustainable. They needed 40 minutes and MVP level production just to lose by 13. They cannot keep doing this.
53.6: The Celtics’ field goal percentage
Coach Jason Kidd has preached defense as his calling card and his Mavericks came into tonight’s game fourth in the NBA with a 108.7 defensive rating. That defense was nowhere to be seen tonight, as the Celtics’ number one ranked offense put the Mavericks in a blender all game with dribble penetration and wide-open three pointers. Boston employs a ton of guys that are threats from distance as well as off the dribble, something the Mavericks simply can’t relate to.
20: Assists for the Mavericks as a team
Luka Doncic had nine of them. The Mavericks are dead last in the NBA in assists per game at 20.8. They don’t move the ball around enough and rely far too much on isolation from Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie. It would be nice to see more creativity and something resembling coherent sets on the offensive end.
29: Combined points for non-Luka/Dinwiddie/Wood Mavs
The Mavericks’ three best offensive players combined for 83 points while the rest of the roster simply did not contribute offensively. This has been a theme all season. At least Christian Wood got some extended run, playing 30-plus minutes for only the second time this season and scoring a very efficient 26 points with 12 rebounds. One can’t help but imagine he’s earned himself some more minutes going forward.
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